Work by WOAP featured artist Julia Elman. (Courtesy of Women of Appalachia Project)

Women of Appalachia Project Seeking Fine Art And Spoken Word

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The Women of Appalachia Project (WOAP) is sending out a call for artists invitation to submit for it’s 2016-2017 season of the fine art and “Women Speak” exhibitions.

This year’s exhibits and presentations will be held in five venues throughout Ohio and West Virginia. Women 15 years and older, living in any of the many Appalachian counties, are invited to submit their work for jury. Past events have highlighted the work of visual and spoken word artists, from Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky.

The mission of WOAP is to showcase the way in which female artists respond to the Appalachian region as a source of inspiration, bringing together women from diverse backgrounds, ages and experiences to embrace the stereotype – to show the whole woman; beyond the superficial factors that people use to judge her – represented by visual interpretation through fine art and spoken word art, “Women Speak,” an evening of poetry, story and song.

Fine art and manuscript submissions for this year’s events will be juried by four seasoned artists, curators and writers.

Rose M. Smith is a Cave Canem fellow and author of Holes in My Teeth (Kattywampus Press, 2016), Shooting the Strays (Pavement Saw Press, 2003) and A Woman You Know (Pudding House Publications, 2005), and was co-editor of Cap City Poets: Columbus and Central Ohio’s Best Known, Read, and Requested Poets (Pudding House Publications, 2008). Her work has appeared in Pavement Saw, The Examined Life, Mom Egg Review, Naugatuck River Review, Chiron Review, Boston Literary Magazine, Main Street Rag, The Pedestal Magazine, other journals and anthologies, and a Poets Greatest Hits series collection (an invitational commemorative now managed by Kattywompus Press). Smith is the senior editor of Pudding Magazine, facilitator of Columbus Salon monthly poetry workshop in central Ohio and has served as contest judge and coach for Ohio Arts Council in support of their Poetry Out Loud program promoting poetry in Ohio high schools.

"Gold Summer" by WOAP featured artist Sharon Phillips. (Courtesy of Women of Appalachia Project)
“Gold Summer” by WOAP featured artist Sharon Phillips. (Courtesy of Women of Appalachia Project)

Kristine Williams is a poet who lives and works in the Athens area. She has been a professor of communication studies at

Hocking College for 30 years and is the former managing editor of Riverwind, a now defunct literary magazine featuring poetry, short stories, photography and artwork from contributors from all over the world and focusing on themes related to Appalachia. She has recently been published in The Huffington Post in the Post 50 section.

Jim Shirey, feminist and self proclaimed rable-rouser, grew up near Gary, Indiana, in a boundary region between heavy industry and open farm country. As a child he explored the creeks, ravines and dunes. As a young man, he worked in the steel mills where he met his future wife, Sandy. They started their family while he finished graduate school, and then moved to Athens where Jim worked as a math professor. Over the years, they grew gardens and explored the land. After retirement, Jim re-explored the area with his camera. His particular interest is small wildflowers. Jim has exhibited his work nationally and locally for years and is currently represented by Starbrick Cooperative Gallery in Nelsonville.

Work by WOAP featured artist Laurie Vancover. (Courtesy of Women of Appalachia Project)
Work by WOAP featured artist Laurie Vancover. (Courtesy of Women of Appalachia Project)

Chelsa Peterson Morahan is a Southeastern Ohio native and the Program Specialist at ARTS/West, which is part of the Arts, Parks and Recreation Department within the City of Athens. She is a graduate of the 2015 Leadership Athens County Program, a review panelist with the Ohio Arts Council, and sings with the SATB Community Choir and the Ohio University Choral Union. After graduating from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina with a Bachelor of Science, Arts Administration, a Bachelor of Arts, Vocal Performance, and a Minor in Business, Chelsa worked and participated extensively in the arts in Chicago, IL for 6 years.

All exhibitions and performances are free thanks to the generous support of hosts, ARTS/West and Ohio University, Athens, Ohio; Parkersburg Art Center, Parkersburg, WV; The Bowen House, Logan, Ohio and the Columbus Poetry Forum, Columbus, Ohio.

For information concerning the submission process for the Women of Appalachia Project and to download the prospectus, go to, or email questions to The submission deadline is Sept. 25, 2016.